Characters: Mercy Thompson
The protagonist and narrator of the main series. Mercy is a walker - a Native American shapeshifter. She can turn into a coyote at will, and has a few other abilities, such as enhanced senses even in human form.
- Action Girl
- A Degree in Useless: Double Subversion. She has a degree in history...which she doesn't make money with. However, when you hang out with as many long-lived beings as Mercy does, a degree in history is necessary just to keep up.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. Mercy isn't particularly attracted to dangerous men, but she finds it adds to Adam's appeal.
- Bad Liar: But a decent rules lawyer, thanks to growing up around a bunch of werewolves who can smell lies.
- Berserk Button: Doesn't really have one, but she is one for a bunch of people - Adam, Samuel, Bran, Zee, and Stefan. Hurt her, and you will soon meet a messy and painful death.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The number of people who have underestimated Mercy and lived to tell the tale is a very, very short list.
- Combat Pragmatist: When you fight above your weight class as often as she does…
- Companion Cube: Acquires a fae-crafted walking stick that follows her around like a puppy and shows up at opportune times. It was actually made by Lugh himself. In River Marked Mercy turns it into a spear to kill the River Devil with, which adds a very dangerous and bloodthirsty slant to its powers. She ends up giving it to Coyote, but it comes back to her after a while.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially to werewolves and people who give her orders.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Has a tendency to dramatically shorten the life expectancies of very powerful, very old monsters.
- Happily Married
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: When your dad's Coyote…yes, that one.
- Indy Ploy: Favors these, though she does know how to plan.
- I See Dead People
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Occasionally plays this card on the villains, doesn't usually bother with people she knows and likes.
- Odd Couple: With Adam. She's the messy, carefree, rules-bending one.
- Raised by Wolves: Well. Werewolves, anyway.
- Rebellious Spirit: Might be a side effect of being the daughter of Coyote. And yes, we mean the Coyote.
- Secret Legacy: Did we mention her father is Coyote?
- She Cleans Up Nicely
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man
- Those Wily Coyotes: Turns into a coyote, of course.
- Useless Superpowers: Not exactly, but her magic resistance never seems to kick in on the really dangerous stuff, and compared to the werewolves she lives around, shifting into a normal coyote isn't exactly jaw-dropping.
- Her ability to "break the rules" is starting to become more relevant as of Frost Burned, when it lets her prevent Adam's Heroic Sacrifice by sucking the silver in him (and the pack) into herself via magic.
- Wicked Stepmother: Averted. Jesse loves Mercy since she was a combination of surrogate mother and big sister to her for years after Adam divorced Jesse's mom.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Adam. They Do.
- Wrench Wench: Fixes cars for a living.
Mercy's neighbor and Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack. There is romantic tension between the two over the first three books. They become mated in Bone Crossed, and married in River Marked.
He became a werewolf during the Vietnam War, and now runs a private security firm.
Jessica "Jesse" Hauptman
Adam's daughter and one of Mercy's best friends. Regularly seen with hair colors that shouldn't occur in real life thanks to her fondness for hair dye.
The Marrok's son and the pack doctor. He and Mercy were once an item, when Mercy was a teenager. He's the other third of the love triangle between her and Adam, and becomes her roommate. He's also much older than he appears.
Adam's second, with a day job as a professor at the local college.
- Ambiguously Brown: His parents are African-American and Chinese respectively. Mercy labels him as "exotic."
- Genius Bruiser: Has a Ph.D in Chemistry, teaches at the local college, and is one of the people in the pack that nobody wants to piss off.
- Happily Married
- Not That Kind of Doctor
- Real Men Cook: Breakfasts cooked by Darryl are considered a pack treat. He fresh-squeezes his own orange juice, and gets very testy if you say you don't like it.
A refugee from a British pack, who left after being accused of a string of brutal rapes. Initially something of a creepy misogynist, he mellows out a little under Adam and Mercy's care and prodding. Also serves as the pack's tech expert.
- Country Matters: One of his favorite profanities, at first, until Adam makes him shut his mouth.
- Deadpan Snarker
- He-Man Woman Hater: Is initially extremely hostile to Mercy, including sexist profanity. Over the course of the books, he's toned it way down, and become one of Mercy's friends…but she still wouldn't trust him alone with her sisters.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ben may be woman-hating, crude, and snarky…but he's thrown himself in front of bullets for Adam, and risked death and humiliation to talk sense into Adam after Mercy's rape, by revealing his own history of being molested as a child. He's also run into fire—literally—to try and save Mercy.
- Rape as Backstory: Was accused of a series of rapes back in England that stopped when he left, but Adam vouches for the fact that he didn't do it. Also, was molested as a child, which contributes to his misogyny and crudity.
Adam's third, one of Mercy's best friends, and former lone wolf until Adam took him under his wing and into his pack. One of the few gay werewolves alive, due to the nasty combination of prejudice with wolf instincts. Currently in a relationship with divorce lawyer Kyle.
Probably the least evil vampire around (vampires are always evil), and a friend of Mercy's. Has a van painted like Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine. A major character in Blood Bound and one of Mercy's only nearly normal friends.
- Affectionate Nickname: Mercy calls him "Shaggy" on occasion, referring to his Scooby-Doo obsession.
- Badass: With shades of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. Played kind of dorky and unthreatening pretty well especially before his Heroic BSOD, keeping most of his powers under lid.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Suffers this at the hands of his seethe's Mistress, in order to test his loyalty.
- Cool Sword: Can conjure one apparently out of thin air.
- Earn Your Title: He's known among the vampires as "The Soldier".
- The Fettered
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Tries very hard to be this, complete with a van painted as the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.
- Gratuitous Italian: Sometimes reverts to his native language when he's angry, upset or otherwise emotional.
- Heroic BSOD: Has an extended one after his torture and exile at Marsilia's hands. Hasn't quite gotten over it.
- Honor Before Reason: Unfailingly loyal and tries his damnedest to hold onto his personal code of honor, even when it costs him dearly. See The Fettered above.
- Older Than They Look: Looks about twenty, was born in Renaissance Italy.
- Ship Tease: While he's never been presented as a real contender for Mercy's affections, his feelings for her have been made rather clear and there is subtext and hints galore if one chooses to grab a hold of them.
- Teleporters and Transporters: His main vampiric power. He can also teleport other people with him, but it's very taxing on him.
Siebold "Zee" Adelbertsmiter aka "The Dark Smith of Drontheim."
Some sort of German fae who has metalworking magic He's not actually German
. Calls himself a gremlin, though he is older than the term. Taught Mercy most of what she knows about cars, then sold her his shop. Comes in and runs it for her when she has other business.
- The Atoner: Implied. Something happened to make him stop being the kind of fae that older werewolves fear, and become the grouchy old man Mercy loves.
- Badass Grandpa: Appears to be an older man when the glamour is on, is very, very old, and has a grown son…and is given a great deal of respect even by the Grey Lords of the fae.
- Cool Old Guy
- Cool Sword: Well, cool knife, really. It can change sizes and cut through pretty much anything, at the cost of growing hotter with each cut.
- As of Frost Burned, it turns out he has a collection.
- The Dreaded: Asil, who qualifies as The Dreaded himself, is absolutely terrified of Zee.
- The Fair Folk
- Gratuitous German
- Loophole Abuse: Is a master, as befitting a member of the fae.
- Meaningful Name: Well, we're pretty sure he killed Saint Adelbert, so...
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Shrouded in Myth: Nobody's sure exactly what Zee's done…but it probably involved killing Saint Adelbert, and earning the title "The Dark Smith of Drontheim."
Bran Cornick, aka the Marrok
Leader of all the werewolves in North America. Mercy was raised in his pack. Believed to be slightly psychic. Is something of a father figure to Mercy, including scolding her when she does something stupid. Has a seriously dangerous side to him called the Berserker that inspired the Grendel and many other monsters, which he is at pains to keep locked away at all times. It is revealed in Alpha & Omega that he was born a witch with the power of telepathy but after his mother, who controlled him for so long, was killed part of his power was taken away so he can only send messages not receive them.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: All of the mighty werewolves in North America, he is both The Leader and the mightiest.
- The Berserker
- False Innocence Trick: Loves to stuff all his power and dominance away, only to unleash it when he really needs it.
- Immortal Immaturity: Averted. While he may look like a twenty-year-old, and pretend to act like one when it suits him, no one would knowingly accuse him of being less than mature.
- Living Legend: He was the basis for Grendel.
- Manipulative Bastard: In spades. Often crosses over with The Chessmaster.
- Mysterious Past: Largely. We do know that he knew the real King Arthur, and inspired the character of Grendel in Beowulf.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Papa Wolf: As much so, if not more than Adam.
- Older Than They Look: Crossing over with Really 700 Years Old. Bran looks like he's a college student. In reality, nobody knows how old he is, even his sons…but they know he's old enough to know King Arthur.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: When he's feeling a particularly intense emotion, his accent tends to slip back to his native Welsh.
- Unstoppable Rage: To the point where even fae lords are afraid of pissing him off.
Sam's brother and Bran's younger son. Native American, born to a magical mother and father
and thus has inherited some of her abilities. He's the also the Marrok’s accountant, second-in-command, and preferred hitman.
- Badass: He’s the wolf that's sent to kill the wolves that go bad. You better believe he’s badass.
- Beneath the Mask: With the mask on, he's a stone-cold killer who answers to no one but the Marrok. Under it, he's a talented musician and loving husband who deeply regrets the lives he has to take for the good of the packs.
- Blood Knight: Averted. He may be his father's killer, but it doesn't mean he enjoys fighting. In reality, Charles would love to settle down peacefully in Montana and not kill anyone.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Runs into this frequently. He's the one that the Marrok sends to hunt down and kill disobedient or out-of-control wolves…in order to save the packs and the mortal world from the dangers of an unrestrained werewolf.
- The Dragon: For the Marrok, he is the enforcer.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Two, from his grandfather: "He Who Must Run Into Trees" and "Running Eagle." A.K.A. "Too Dumb To Fly."
- Genius Bruiser: When he's not out playing hit man, he's also his father's accountant and computer expert.
- Good Is Not Nice: Have we mentioned that he's his father's enforcer? But the alternative is almost always much, much worse.
- Happily Married: To Anna. He's a loving family man when he's off the clock.
- Hates Being Touched: Unless you're Anna. Then he can't get enough.
- I Am What I Am: Eventually comes to terms with the fact that while he is a killer, he is also justice, and necessary for the wolf packs to function.
- Insecure Love Interest: Worries constantly about whether or not his job makes him an unsuitable mate for Anna.
- Lightning Bruiser: Considered to be the fastest, toughest, and most skilled of all the wolves in combat, save maybe the Marrok. It comes from having a lot of experience.
- Love at First Sight: With Anna, sort of. His wolf chose her instantly, and it didn't take the man long to follow.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: It's implied that it's impossible to evade Charles when he's on the hunt.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Subverted. While Samuel looks much Welsh like his father, Charles takes after his Native American mother.
- The Stoic: Averted with Anna, who gets to see the much softer side under the hit-man mask. Played straight with everyone else; it's probably a bad idea for the Marrok's hatchet man to be anything else.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Is willing to be near-universally feared and hated by other wolves in order to make his job as his father's hatchet man easier.
Omega wolf who was set up to be turned by the local pack leader after his mate went Ax-Crazy
and killed all his group's female werewolves, needed someone to calm them down. She was abused for three years in the pack and was told very little, until Charles stepped in. Their inner wolves hit it off and they mated, and Anna moved to Montana.
- Apologises a Lot: At first, due to her Rape as Drama backstory and Omega nature. Slowly gets better over the course of the books.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Let's put it this way—just because she's a genuinely good person and an Omega to boot, doesn't mean that she's not dangerous. Ask Nimue. Oh, wait, you can't. Anna killed her.
- Compelling Voice: Borrowed from Charles.
- Heart Is An Awesome Power: Omegas are peacemakers, which sounds ridiculous in a werewolf…until you realize that she increases life expectancies just by being around, can calm full-on berserker rages, and doesn't have to obey orders.
- Happily Married: With Charles. They are often physically affectionate.
- The Heart: This is her job as Omega; keep everyone calm so they don't kill each other.
- Killer Rabbit: Oh yes. Cute, gentle Anna…who is still very much a werewolf.
- Morality Chain: Comes with being an Omega to a degree, but she definitely is one for Charles, Bran, and Asil.
- Silk Hiding Steel: On the surface, she's a slightly-underfed, sweet-natured girl completely overshadowed by her extremely intimidating husband. Dig a little deeper, and you find someone who put a knife between the ribs of the Lady of the Lake and regularly stands up to the Marrok at his angriest.
Asil, A.K.A "The Moor"
An extremely old and dominant wolf living in Bran's pack. Originally wanted there because he wanted Bran to kill him for being old and crazy, and stayed around after the events of Cry Wolf
because he likes yanking Charles' chain. Sometimes serves as a mentor to Charles, as his (deceased) mate was also an Omega.
- The Atoner: Feels a great deal of guilt for having been traveling when his mate was killed.
- Cynical Mentor: To Charles and Anna, sometimes, combined with Trickster Mentor.
- Death Seeker: Originally. Anna helps him get better, by killing the witch who killed and enslaved his mate.
- Hero of Another Story: More like sidekick of another story. When we see him from Anna's perspective, he's something of a mentor, and one of her few guides to being Omega. When we see him from Mercy's perspective in Frost Burned, he's a nearly-crazy, ancient, legendary werewolf who creeps her out more than a bit.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Does it to Anna, to yank Charles' chain. Gets much, much more than he bargained for.
- Immortal Immaturity: Subverted. He acts like a crazy brat at first, but it's just a ploy to get Bran to kill him.
- Living Legend: Let's put it this way: When Anna tells other werewolves that she knows Asil, the typical reaction is something along the lines of "The Moor? That Moor?"
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast
- Older Than They Look: Like most very old werewolves. He's not quite as old as Bran, though.